Questions tagged [creative-writing]

"Creative writing" is a vague term, but generally means fiction, or writing that's not non-fiction, technical, or business writing. This tag should be used when asking questions that apply to multiple categories of creative writing, such as when asking questions that could apply to fiction or poetry alike.

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13
votes
5answers
752 views

What should come first—characters or plot?

I'm starting a new fantasy story, and although I had a loose idea of plot, I began sculpting my characters before writing anything. Creating images of them in my head, developing their personalities, ...
61
votes
17answers
13k views

Avoiding racist tropes in fantasy

I'm interested in starting a pleasure project: a fantasy story, along the lines of a witch delivering a prophecy to a king about a dangerous and deceitful foe who will overthrow him, and the king ...
19
votes
9answers
4k views

Avoiding Slang whilst Writing

I sometime express my personality too much in my more creative fiction. When I get going, I include slang words and phrases that sound fascinating and are comprehensible to me, but may not be ...
8
votes
3answers
135 views

Point of View Confusion

I’m confused about point of view. In my story—so far—I only reveal to the reader what the main character, a child, can see/hear. Not often, but at times, I write that the child “wondered” or he “...
3
votes
4answers
131 views

How do we distinguish how a character pronounces a word and how it is spelled in a dialogue?

How do we distinguish how a character pronounces a word and how it is spelled in a dialogue? For example, some people pronounce words in a different way than they should, how do you show that in a ...
3
votes
5answers
167 views

Does each writer have a unique writing style?

I admire the writing style of many other writers and I try to emulate them, but most of the time it doesn't turn out how I want it to. Is this because it's not uniquely my own style, but rather ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Is this kind of description not recommended?

I think I read somewhere that when writing, you shouldn't describe characters by their characteristics i.e. The tall man walked across the room Is this true? Maybe I'm misremembering
2
votes
2answers
112 views

Thoroughly conveying my protagonist's thoughts and emotions

I'm currently writing a story in which our protagonist is trapped in a labyrinth of sorts. The twist here is that she is the monster within this maze yet she does not realize it as she has no memory ...
9
votes
8answers
537 views

How do I sound like Thanos when I write?

This is really a dumb question but as a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I have watched Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame so many times. One of the most interesting things that popped ...
7
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4answers
1k views

How do I improve my knowledge of English well enough to write in it?

I have a long-term goal to write a non-fiction book: a critical book about the current state of humanity's moral methodologies and how humanity is better off dead. Much like Friedrich Nietzsche but ...
4
votes
4answers
712 views

Where can I find resources about writing a litRPG book?

Where can I find (preferably free) online resources, such as How-To-Write or styleguide articles and blogs, about writing a litRPG book? LitRPG, or Literary Role Playing Game, books combine elements ...
20
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8answers
4k views

Help, I cannot decide when to start the story

So, this probably came up already thousands of times, though here I am. So let me explain... I have a story I want to tell. I am planning for it to become a novel, possibly multiple novels because of ...
13
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8answers
2k views

Do I need to start off my book by describing the character's “normal world”?

I know a lot of books do it (Harry Potter, LOTR, Wheel of Time). It's even part of the "Hero's Journey". However, my book starts with the "inciting incidient" i.e. my main charatcer begins her first ...
4
votes
5answers
279 views

Why do most authors shed their LitRPG elements as the stories go? Is it a genre convention?

In almost all the LitRPG stories I read, the start of the stories is full of system messages, +1 here and there, even damage prompts saying "Goblin hits Hero for -8 HP". Classes, skills, experience ...
6
votes
1answer
79 views

Are there any set rules to creating a story with audience participation?

I have recently grown interested in the idea of writing a litRPG novel where each two days I will publish a chapter describing a single day of the main character and at the end of the day the readers ...
7
votes
8answers
2k views

What are good ways to improve as a writer other than writing courses?

As a novice writer to improve my writing I have taken one online course. I want to ask, what are good ways to improve as a writer other than writing courses?
9
votes
5answers
2k views

How do I know when and if a character requires a backstory?

In my novel, at the point where the MC meets her would-be boyfriend, Rufus, I have added a small backstory about his job. Later on, the story is almost entirely focused on the MC and what happens to ...
-7
votes
0answers
68 views

How can I avoid copyright infringement and avoid getting sued? [duplicate]

The devil is alive, and he walks among you. Eons ago, there was a battle between a powerful deity and a devil from the nine realms of hell. The losing devil, to avoid being killed, broke himself ...
2
votes
3answers
62 views

Use of punctuation in song lyrics?

https://fireemblem.fandom.com/wiki/The_Edge_of_Dawn_(Seasons_of_Warfare) The following is the short version of "The Edge of Dawn". Reach for my hand, I'll soar away Into the dawn Oh,...
9
votes
4answers
18k views

How do I write a gory scene?

I'm trying to write some gory scenes. I'm having a few problems, though. I asked around online and determined that I need to really highlight the senses when I'm writing something like this. Mostly ...
9
votes
2answers
635 views

How would you write the dialogues of two characters talking in a chat room?

How would you write do the dialogues of two characters talking in a chat room? I am seriously wondering about the format. Should it look like regular dialogues, what about emoticons like OWO and ;) ...
1
vote
1answer
51 views

Formatting a conversation

In a novel, how would one best represent a recorded conversation between two people played back to a larger audience? The normal rules apply regarding quotation marks and beginning a new paragraph ...
8
votes
3answers
881 views

Can we use other things than single-word verbs in our dialog tags?

"Albert, you're already drunk! Stop it!" she implored him. "Nah, if I stop drinking, I won't have an excuse to miss work tommorrow!" he joked around. I am wondering if it's possible to use ...
7
votes
3answers
519 views

How to portray a character who has mood swings?

The protagonist of my trilogy-in-progress suffers from a serve case of Borderline Personality Disorder. Among his symptoms are continually splitting, unstable self-image, chronic feelings of emptiness,...
6
votes
4answers
498 views

How to add depth to primary female character that contrasts well with primary male characters

I am attempting to write a relatively complex SciFi military novel following 3 primary characters. A male and female protagonist, and a male antagonist. So far none of those characters are aware of ...
1
vote
3answers
151 views

Is the MC in first person singular always all knowing?

While writing a first-person singular novel, is the MC all-knowing? How do we handle plots which do not include the MC, like something happening with others but not including MC? Will it be taken as ...
6
votes
3answers
391 views

Does the use of a new concept require a prior definition?

In my novel I have written this line; At your deepest core the buddha nature is waiting quietly for you. Now Buddha-nature is a complex concept to understand. If the reader is not savvy about ...
5
votes
2answers
136 views

Are writing prompts copyright protected?

I love following writing prompt blogs and accounts on social media because they really get my creativity flowing, my favorite being Writing Prompts on Tumblr and Instagram. I've never actually ...
6
votes
5answers
503 views

How to portray a character with gender dysphoria?

Context In my fantasy novel-in-progress, one of the two main characters has a close friend he's known since childhood. Both of them are greatly developed by their interactions with each other ...
2
votes
2answers
90 views

Multiple lines of dialogue and action from a single character

I am in the middle of writing a scene between two characters, a cello player, Lisa and her friend from college, Jack. Lisa has recently lost her sight, and Jack is trying to encourage her back into ...
4
votes
1answer
137 views

How do I compensate for lack of knowledge about foreign accents and takling styles?

In my novel, Matt goes to the club in Moscow and starts walking towards a Russian mafia. I have written the following line; Christoff was sitting in the club balcony with his acquaintances. As ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

How do I show and not tell a backstory? [duplicate]

In my novel, Matt's girlfriend Ella gets kidnapped and Matt is held responsible by the kidnappers. As it wasn't for ransom but as a revenge of something Matt did. And then Matt storms into my MC's ...
9
votes
4answers
260 views

What's the effect of placing “of course” at the beginning or at the end of the sentence?

Example from my writing: Not everything was rainbow and roses, of course. Sometimes rain would fall on my head or a thorn prickle my finger. Of course, not everything was rainbow and roses. ...
22
votes
6answers
5k views

How do discovery writers hibernate?

I am 20% outliner and 80% discovery writer, (I know many will object that this is not possible) meaning, I have a very brief outline of what is going to happen in the end and then I go on filling the ...
3
votes
1answer
283 views

Should I take up a Creative Writing online course? [closed]

To begin with I am a novice with no particular experience in Creative writing. However, I come from a technical background and I have experiences of writing the long academic thesis. I have finished ...
2
votes
1answer
137 views

Using spoonerism for a non-humoristic purpose

I found this interesting figure of speech called spoonerism. Here's the article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spoonerism Now, I have been wondering if spoonerism can be used in a non-humoristic ...
12
votes
9answers
4k views

How to deceive the MC

My protagonist is finally meeting with the big boss of a mafia. At least, he thinks he is. The boss actually sends someone to pretend to be him. I'm writing from the protagonist's (limited) POV. If I ...
5
votes
0answers
64 views

Is there a good resource on all different formatting and writing styles throughout history?

I noticed writers in the past used a different format, in terms of punctuation, indentation, quotations, spacing, and paragraph length, and the format can be different from author to author and from ...
0
votes
1answer
72 views

Is this 'complex' metaphor an oxymoron? [closed]

This is from the lyrics "The Edge of Dawn" from Fire Emblem Three Houses: Yet still I hide Behind this mask that I have become My blackened heart Scorched by flames of a force I can'...
8
votes
1answer
845 views

What's the proper way of indicating that a car has reached its destination during a dialogue?

What's the proper way of indicating that a car has reached its destination during a dialogue? For example, two persons have a conversation, and they reach a destination, is there a standard way to do ...
2
votes
4answers
222 views

Would this character be classified as an antivillain, antihero, or something else entirely?

From an analysis standpoint, I'm trying to determine what classification the antagonist and protagonist in my story would fall under in terms of the classic literary labels of "hero," "villain," "...
1
vote
0answers
50 views

Will I get into trouble if I included some real life historical characters in my historical fiction / alternate history novel? [duplicate]

I'm planning on writing a story set in the past with some historical events as the background. My story will involve the protagonist meeting with some real life characters in history (a fictional ...
3
votes
6answers
267 views

Averting Always Chaotic Evil

Always Chaotic Evil denotes an entire species in a fictional setting as outright evil - no matter how one treats them, they reward kindness with treachery and violence. Frequent recipients of this ...
7
votes
4answers
296 views

What language to write in for a beginner wanting to write fiction?

So far, all of the fiction I've written in my life has been short stories given as writing tasks in school. However, I've always enjoyed reading/watching/experiencing fiction and for the last few ...
15
votes
11answers
2k views

Can technical writing suck less

I currently have the prospect of writing a considerable amount of technical documentation (describing interactions with an extremely complex online service). I consider myself a reasonably proficient ...
4
votes
4answers
207 views

Can I use prominent people in history to as characters in my fiction?

I am a little puzzled. I want to set my story in a real era that happened; like say, the American civil wars during Lincoln's time, and involve the then prominent figures like Lincoln and McClellan as ...
-1
votes
0answers
37 views

What are some methods you use to write? [duplicate]

I'm writing a dark fantasy novel. When I have writer's block, I usually just occupy myself with other things, but that makes it more difficult for me to keep up with my own story. I feel like it would ...
24
votes
11answers
7k views

How do I stop my characters falling in love?

So I'm writing a short story based in a WW2 American military base camp stationed in Germany. It's about A Jewish Soviet soldier that, with the help of an American soldier and a series of coincidences,...
0
votes
2answers
86 views

What is a good way to come up with original world building ideas? [closed]

I have a hard time coming up with original worlds and plots, but I need a portfolio of original work. Any thoughts on how to come up with ideas?
6
votes
2answers
117k views

How should I write a height in feet and inches?

I wrote the sentence: From far away, he could easily be mistaken for a ten year-old, at 5’1 he was as thin as a rail and wore a flannel shirt tucked into a brown, leather belt. I wrote 5'1. When ...